The United States Grand Prix, hosted at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, has been cut some slack by Bernie Ecclestone in light of funding cuts by the local government.
COTA had been receiving around $25 million (£16.4m) in state funding, much of which is used to cover the hosting fee demanded by Formula One Management. However this year that has been cut to just $19m (£12.4m) due to the way in which the races economic impact is calculated.
As a result, Ecclestone has granted the race organisers additional time to pay their fee for the 2015 event.
“We said they can pay late this year,” the 85-year-old told the Austin American-Statesman. “They get money from the state, and the money from the state is late, so that’s why they are late.”
Ecclestone is confident they will manage, but corcuit chairman Bobby Epstein isn’t so sure, and says the payment delay is only a short-term fix.
“The person who dealt with this in the first place is no longer there. The governor is no longer there. So they have got new people, but they should pay what was agreed … I think they will get the funding back on track again,” said Ecclestone.
But Epstein added: “It’s OK paying after the race, but if they don’t give you enough to pay the sanction fee, you still can’t do it.”